A clever and versatile use for a favourite fruit
Honestly, I think the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” should have been written about strawberry season. The sight of those first boxes of local strawberries at the farmers’ market each year sets my heart all a-flutter. Not only does it mean that summer has finally arrived (even the calendar doesn’t agree), it also means my options for baking, salads and canning have just exploded. I always make strawberry jam and I love this strawberry salsa too, but new favourite, hands-down, are these amazing pickled strawberries. I enjoy eating them as is, but you can also chop them then use them as a topper for crostini spread with goat cheese. They’re fabulous on a cheese or charcuterie board too. One more innovative use: drain pickled berries and pat dry then freeze on a small baking tray and add to mocktails or cocktails in lieu of ice cubes. When you’ve finished enjoy the pickles, don’t toss that leftover strawberry vinegar – use it to make a delicious vinaigrette! If you like these, be sure to check out my fantastic pickled blueberries as well.
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) water
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coarse kosher salt
- 1 pint (475 mL) fresh strawberries (about 2 cups)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or mint
Note: feel free to play around with seasonings. A few crushed peppercorns in the brine would be great, as would cinnamon or star anise.
- Combine vinegar, sugar, water and salt in a glass measure. Microwave until just about boiling then stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside.
- Wash and hull berries, cutting larger ones in half so all are of a uniform size.
- Pack berries and thyme (or mint) into a 2 cup (500 mL) canning jar.
- Pour brine over top. Place lid on top and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to one week.
- The pickled berries are ready to be enjoyed after at least 12 hours in the brine.
Makes one 2 cup / 500 mL jar.